What can you say in Six Sentences?

Writing is like any exercise, the more you do it, the better you seem to get at it.

I came across a brilliant site recently that is ideal for exercising your Creative Muse. It’s called Six Sentences and takes submissions, posting the best, of short pieces written, well, in Six Sentences.

They also have an excellent Ning community site.

In the Blue Peter tradition, here’s one I submitted earlier – The Power of Six

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If you want a real challenge, take the Word of the Day from Dictionary.com and use it as a seed to generate your Six Sentences

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The Bookwright is now an iMindMap Master Trainer

mastertrainerlogo_175Those of you who have been on my workshops and taken the Home Study Course know I use Mind Maps extensively.

Recently I have converted to iMindMap version 3 as, in my opinion, it is the only software product that truly allows you to easily map your mind – as opposed to merely mapping the cognitive brain. The difference is subtle and easily missed.

I am pleased to announce that I have qualified this week as a Licensed Instructor and Master Trainer for iMindMap. I am also setting up a service to develop and deliver on-line e-learning courses using the new user-interactive ELC facility.

If you want to experience the power of this deceptively simple software tool, here’s your options:

1. Download a free trial today from here

2. Experience it in a practical context by downloading the Unleash the Book Inside Home Study Course

3. Come along to the next Unleash the Book Inside Workshop – all attendees will get a free set of Mind Map templates to help them brainstorm and manage their book from creation to publication – and you will not only experience Whole Brain Thinking but also Whole Mind Thinking

4. Come to one of the iMindMap end user courses or even train to be a Licensed Instructor yourself – see the 2009 workshop schedule here

Integrating Mind Maps in Personal Timelines

Each of us operates in a three dimensional world. Our sense of up and down, backwards and forwards and left and right is embedded deep in our neurology and something we share with most of the animal kingdom. In evolutionary terms.

This sense must have evolved millions of years ago, probably in sea life that had more need for a 3-D map of the world than us land based creatures.

With the appearance of our conscious minds and our self awareness, a sense of time emerged that was not just linked to the diurnal rising of the Sun and Moon or the seasons. It’s probable that this facility is just a million or so years old. The fact that ancient astronomers could make amazing forward predictions like predicting the precession of the equinoxes means that is must have been fairly advanced by the time we came down from the trees. It’s possible that homo sapiens is alone in having this facility but perhaps a sense of the future, and the past, is something we share with elephants and cetaceans. This is a sense of time not to be confused with your dog simply wanting to go for a walk.

TimelinesWe not only have this sense of time but it appears we map it into our spatial dimensions. If you close your eyes and imagine where your past is, you are likely to say either behind or to the left of you. Or somewhere between, perhaps pointing downwards or upwards too or even in a three dimensional cone. Likewise, most people say that their future is to the front or right of them. Note that other strange spiral or reversed timelines also crop up.

Several therapeutic regression techniques make use of this phenomenon. You can take a person back into their past to help clear current emotional issues relating to past experiences. Psychological trauma also occurs while in the womb. If the therapist is so trained, regression also doesn’t even have to be limited solely to this lifetime.

Likewise, you can take a client into the future, get them to anchor the feeling of achieving a goal or success and then bring them back to the present. This seems to somehow entangle the present with the future and help people reach said goal. Amazing transformations can be made by a skilled practitioner using these techniques.

In our writing workshop and home study course, we make use of the tendency of the brain to encode time into our spatial awareness when constructing any time-based mind maps.

For example, when an author needs to change their schedule to generate time (or is it space?) to write, we find it useful to put the goals and change in behaviour into the position on the map corresponding with their future and past as seen in their personal timeline.

Using our visualisation techniques, the resulting map seems to embed itself into not only the memory, as all maps do, but into the neurology actually encouraging the behavioural change necessary to generate quality writing time.

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Other map layouts suit other time based activities. For example, if you are project planning a sequence of milestones, where there is no real emotional context, a clock face map seems easy to commit to memory.

For details of our writing workshops and home study courses, click here

The Magic Sunglasses

frontdropshadow_225I’m proud and privileged to have been working recently with a new children’s author on her web presence and marketing strategy.

Angela Buck, writing under the nom de plume of Auriel Blanche, has just published a marvellous children’s book called the Magic Sunglasses.

It’s a wonderful, uplifting and empowering concept aimed at the 7 to 10 year old age range.

Have a look at the site here and why not take Auriel up on her offer to send you a signed copy with your personal message with free postage and packing until the end of the year.

It will make a really special and treasured Christmas present.

Go to www.themagicsunglasses.com to find out more …

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How I became an author … Wendy Salter

The pleasures to be enjoyed from reading books are innumerable.

The path to writing your own book is tortuous and lengthy … or is it?

You either like writing or you don’t, which immediately isolates a relatively small portion of the population
who are likely to write a book, and that was a revelation that came to me this year – the year I produced my own first book.
It is not a competition between writers; it is what writers do, naturally – produce books; like cooks produce food.
I realised that because some are doing it successfully, it doesn’t have to inhibit first-timers. Yes, some become famous and prolific in their creations, like pop stars, but, again, that doesn’t make them the best for everyone. I see now that that is more about marketing than writing good books.
Writing, and having something to write about, has never been a problem for me, but becoming a published author certainly was, before now.
I love a good book and am probably quite critical in how I choose an author and reading subject; for example,
I have read only five chapters of the Harry Potter polylogy and I have only read two books more than once.
They were ‘Tess of the Durbervilles’ by Thomas Hardy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tess_of_the_Durbervilles.
and Homer’s ‘Oddysey’ . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odyssey
Starting the book that I have just self-published was also alot easier than I could ever have imagined. It was as easy as 1, 2, 3…go!
A few words came into my head one night, just before going to sleep and instead of dismissing them as unimportant
I wrote them down the next day. A few hours later I had the first five chapters of a short story.
These words were very far away from being a book, and I had no thoughts around what I would do with them, until the story unfolded before my eyes and became a revelation in itself. One story led to another until, five months after starting, I had a potential book. The seed of thought of it being a book one day was germinated by several elements.
  1. There was at least one person, I knew, who would read my book, and, as it has turned out, many, many more.
  2. There was so much excitement for me in writing the book that I felt  there would be excitement, and therefore enjoyment, for the person reading it.
  3. The finished book seemed to offer something valid and enlightening to anyone who read it, beyond just enjoyment.
  4. I knew Tom Evans.
Tom, the Bookwright, www.thebookwright.com has been a master key to turning my story into a book. Tom’s support, encouragement, knowledge and expertise, especially about self-publishing, has made the process extremely easy.
I wondered if I should use a pen and paper at one point, because it felt like such a rich experience, but I found my lap-top and
‘Word’ so useful for correcting and editing later. Sending the complete manuscript as a document via the Internet, to your chosen publisher, is so easy, too.
I can now see that once you recognise that you are a writer, everything else can follow on smoothly.
I have self-published on www.lulu.com just to get a book in my hand and see what it looks like and to give the unabridged first edition to my family.
It is easy and cheap. Your book arrives within five days!

Having held my book in my hands – a real book called ‘Herstoria’ – and seen my words on the pages therein, I am now going to walk fearlessly along the path of authorship and urge you to do so too. http://wendysalter.wordpress.com/2008/05/01/herstoria-first-installmentherstoria-first-installment/

Tom encouraged me to start my own Blog. www.wendysalter.com I have found that not only could I start serialising my first story on the Blog, but I could overcome my nerves about being exposed, criticised or even ignored. I also enjoyed posting short articles and poems. The feedback I have received by doing this has been very positive. It is great fun and very rewarding as well as a useful practice for being a published writer.
Tom is like a writer’s guardian angel. He will be there to help you overcome any self-doubt, writers’ block, loss of direction or lack of information and will be the first to celebrate your success with you.
Wendy Salter

Unleash your Book with iMindMap

I have been mind mapping for many years and it has really helped me increase my creativity and productivity – as well as giving me unprecedented clarity over what I am working on.

Although I am comfortable with maintaining my creativity while working on a computer, for many people, the very use of a keyboard, screen and mouse, switches the left brain into dominant mode – thus suppressing the creative right hemisphere.

For this reason, on my workshops and in the Home Study online course, I recommend that, at least, the early maps are done with paper and pen.

Imagine my surprise when I came across the latest version of iMindMap from Tony Buzan. At last, mind mapping software which doesn’t constrain the user to a rigid framework. It uses a clever vector graphics engine so that the map is not limited by the technology or the screen in a rectilinear fashion. As such, it can be introduced much earlier in the creative writing process.

For authors who have taken the Home Study course, if you purchase iMindMap, I will send you a free set of mind map templates to help you plan, execute and manage your book project.

You can get a free trial and purchase iMindMap here

mastertrainerlogo_175Latest News: Nov ’08: I have now qualified as a Master Trainer for the software.

I am running a series of training courses in the South East of England in 2009 – for dates and booking and to find out how to Change Your Mind, click here

For more about Mind Maps work, watch this short video ….